The Grande Utopia Project

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1911131415

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  • xschop
    xschop Posts: 4,759
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    Faster bass response because of the large drivers?
    Don't take experimental gene therapies from known eugenicists.
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 28,164
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    using multiple smaller caps (5 x 33uf) plus a small bypass cap (.022uf) should translate into faster transients and response compared to a single large 168uf cap).

    The other issue is you cant find a CMR or higher quality cap in that value and I doubt it would fit if they did! lol!

    The CMR 168 is for the midrange and the CSA is for the bass. The bass network is pretty straight forward with the cap/resistor for a zobel network.

    The 168uf and 75uf in the midrange network are directly in line with the positive amplifier terminal and the drivers so I wanted to go as high of quality as I could.
    - Not Tom ::::::: Any system can play Diana Krall. Only the best can play Limp Bizkit.
  • xschop
    xschop Posts: 4,759
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    Nice work again. Midrange/midbass transients are always the first notable improvement when doing mods, whether electrical or physical.
    Don't take experimental gene therapies from known eugenicists.
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 28,164
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    Thanks Rob! I agree, I don't think I will be able to experience the true benefits until I'm able to change the 75uf... Should be here beginning of February or so I hope!

    Very challenging project with the space constraints
    - Not Tom ::::::: Any system can play Diana Krall. Only the best can play Limp Bizkit.
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,677
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    Were the blue resistors still Mundorf ?
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 28,164
    edited January 4
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    Mundorf didn't have the value I needed, hifi collective recommended powertron and given it was for the bass network should be good enough.

    It is obvious the mundorf resistors uses higher quality materials in comparison

    Path audio had the value but they were less wattage then stock and also to large for the space I had available
    - Not Tom ::::::: Any system can play Diana Krall. Only the best can play Limp Bizkit.
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,677
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    Okay. I was wondering if the color denoted value or wattage.
    Thx
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 28,164
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    So the mundorf wattage ratings are murky.

    If you read the white paper...

    Free air 3 watts
    Their red heat sink, 15 watts
    Large heat sink, 30 watts.

    However most sites say the red heat sink provides 30 watts.

    I can say with the huge heat sink I used, even playing at higher volumes for hours, they barely were above room temperature
    - Not Tom ::::::: Any system can play Diana Krall. Only the best can play Limp Bizkit.
  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 12,657
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    Shoulda went external!
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 28,164
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    With all duelund no doubt!
    - Not Tom ::::::: Any system can play Diana Krall. Only the best can play Limp Bizkit.
  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 12,657
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    Refinance your house if you need to.
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 28,164
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    Broo... The enclosures to house a duelund build would be a house!
    - Not Tom ::::::: Any system can play Diana Krall. Only the best can play Limp Bizkit.
  • nooshinjohn
    nooshinjohn Posts: 25,173
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    VR3 wrote: »
    Broo... The enclosures to house a duelund build would be a house!

    And you are so temped to go for it! B)
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, Mcintosh C2300 Arcam AVR20, Oppo UDP-203 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk Audio Legend L800 with height modules, L400 Center Channel Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds. Marantz MM7025 stereo amp. Simaudio Moon 680d DSD

    “When once a Republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil.”— Thomas Jefferson
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 28,164
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    Lol I would seriously have to win the lottery. That's Oprah rich stuff
    - Not Tom ::::::: Any system can play Diana Krall. Only the best can play Limp Bizkit.
  • Machalik
    Machalik Posts: 22
    edited January 6
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    Hey there, Trey, nice setup! A fellow owner here .)
    I need to read through the entire thread, now at page 4. Have purchased mine in 2017.
    Cheers from Europe!

    gopfhmnrnxvx.jpeg
    Post edited by Machalik on
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,475
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    Hello @Machalik and please allow me to offer you a very warm welcome to Club Polk, from across the big pond!

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • Machalik
    Machalik Posts: 22
    edited January 6
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    Thanks Tom!

    Found a cleaner picture from before I started the restoration of the black speakers:

    f9fw3938tpgt.jpeg

    Indeed the Grande is a good speaker. I've owned plenty, and I stopped with these. Congrats Trey to being among the lucky few!

    I'll continue reading 2022 posts now.
    Jiri
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 28,164
    edited January 6
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    Welcome Jiri!

    Awesome setup! I need to know more about your woofers and how they became so dark! Looks awesome!

    - Not Tom ::::::: Any system can play Diana Krall. Only the best can play Limp Bizkit.
  • Machalik
    Machalik Posts: 22
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    I can take detailed pics tomorrow in daylight, now it's closing on 4 a.m. They are dark grey and glossy, I am sure we have the same, might be a contrast thing with the phone camera. Do they look too dark to you?

    Btw, mine are from 1996, two years older than yours.

    Do you also have the original brochure thar comes with the tweeter faceplate? And have you ever obtained the wooden covers?

    I have just had twins born so I must make a pair of woofer grilles with cloth on them so that they don't damage the dust caps. Have about 3-5 months I guess before they start pushing everything that resembles a button .)
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,475
    edited January 6
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    Trey definitely has advice for you on baby-proofing them. Not an issue there!

    His woofers are kind of an off white. Definitely not as dark as yours appear.

    Oh, my manners....congrat's on the little ones!

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 28,164
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    I have purchased any brochure or advertisement to can find on them for sure. I have noted darker woofers in other photos. Hard to tell for sure. One of mine has changed to a darker color versus the lighter gray. Here's one with darker woofers

    gn1m6fn9rdqm.jpeg

    I don't have the wood covers but I may make some one day.

    I have cotton covers, then half inch foam then a double padded nylon cover for mine when not in use. Has worked well with my 3 year old for sure!

    Digital deck covers sells the cloth covers, I sent the cabinet schematics focal sent to me. The covers are a perfect fit!
    - Not Tom ::::::: Any system can play Diana Krall. Only the best can play Limp Bizkit.
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 28,164
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    I don't have a photo of the cotton covers but I put those on before the foam covers

    rhhwr0wiwbdt.jpg
    a6zhq2hu0qqc.jpg
    - Not Tom ::::::: Any system can play Diana Krall. Only the best can play Limp Bizkit.
  • Machalik
    Machalik Posts: 22
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    Finished reading.

    Wow. What a ride! I am bookmarking this thread and will eagerly follow your further mods. I was tempted to open up mine and possibly get into xover redesign, too, but then chickened out and kept things as is and not ruin the collector's value. Also didn't want to spend another lump of money, maybe up to half of what they cost me .) How far are you cost wise if you compare the speakers cost vs. the mods cost, excl. your hours, just pure material?

    Also noted your woofers are truly grey, while mine are dark grey or light black. Perhaps Focal changed the material in later SN's?

    Would you mind sharing what Focal sent you, the xover schematics and enclosure diagrams etc.? I'll take pics of what I have tomorrow and upload, too. My experience with Focal hasn't been the greatest: I am missing one of the pins on the wooden covers that fits into the holes in the speaker; and if I'm building new grilles, I'll need 8 more pins, so I asked Focal twice in the timespan of 3 years and they never even came back, complete black out, no response. I reached our local dealer then who knew nothing and advised me to 3D print my own pins. So I didn't find them particularly helpful, and didn't ask for any schematics, which I'd love. I have a collection of tech papers on all speaker's I've owned except the GU's.
  • Machalik
    Machalik Posts: 22
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    Awesome covers .)) Full pyjamas set.
  • Machalik
    Machalik Posts: 22
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    What a rare find to find a fellow owner!! The only other one I know is the previous owner of my pair who swapped to BE's (and wasn't too happy with them, as far as I know; I may mail him to ask if he sold or kept them). Very rare speaker indeed.
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 28,164
    edited January 6
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    I paid right at 10 for the pair and drove 22 hours to pick them up.

    Not counting labor, just parts, I would probably have 3k to 4k or so invested in dedicated parts just for the grandes. I have probably 10k in tools though that made the build possible.

    I didn't change the schematic, just went higher quality parts.

    I will say just changing the caps and resistors in the tweeter network netted extremely positive changes. The stock parts add alot of grain. To upgrade just the tweeter network is not to bad.

    The biggest obstacle is removing those back panels. I had a guy on Etsy fabricate solid steel handles and had to use a large steel bar and a tremendous amount of force to remove them. It was no easy task. They are basically glued shut.

    I had to really, really work on focal to give me what they gave me and they did not want me spreading it. Email me Vr3Mods@Gmail.com and I will send you the schematic they sent.

    I would check hificollective.co.uk, they won't have the brass peg focal used but should have a plastic equivalent... https://www.hificollective.co.uk/loudspeaker-accessories/grill-cloth-and-fastenings.html

    I would say though that your woofers are indeed a darker color and possibly even a completely different cone but it is hard to say. The black dots on the w cones are literally just for looks.
    - Not Tom ::::::: Any system can play Diana Krall. Only the best can play Limp Bizkit.
  • Machalik
    Machalik Posts: 22
    edited January 6
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    If you ever wanted the wooden panels drawings, I can take measurements for you. I already have a precise Sketchup model for the woofer covers, I can make the same for all the rest.
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 28,164
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    That would be awesome. I have a set of mini utopia here that I was going to compare their wood covers but having a working model would be awesome!
    - Not Tom ::::::: Any system can play Diana Krall. Only the best can play Limp Bizkit.
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 28,164
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    I have only seen one other set for sale in the past two years in the states, was from a reseller in Florida. He has a single one still available. Very rare indeed! Welcome to the forum, hope you can stick around!
    - Not Tom ::::::: Any system can play Diana Krall. Only the best can play Limp Bizkit.
  • Machalik
    Machalik Posts: 22
    edited January 6
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    This is the pegs used in my panels (they come out occasionally and stay in the speakers; luckily they come out of those easily, too):

    xuoicbrrmy37.jpeg

    I'll be def able to get something similar and fitting, my best guess is upholstery workers or veteran automobile restaurators will have an array of these, one of which will neatly fit the Utopias.